Farrell 50: Nos. 21-25
It’s that time of year. The college football season is almost over, so it's time for a look at the Farrell 50 — the top 50 players in college football and how they were ranked as recruits. We continue today with Nos. 21-25.
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
25. Ian Book, Notre Dame
The skinny: Book initially committed to Washington State during the spring after his junior season. However, when Notre Dame hired QB coach Mike Sanford, who Book had established a strong relationship with during his time at Boise State, everything began to change. After a couple of months of back and forth, Book officially flipped his commitment to the Irish in August.
Book continued a memorable career in South Bend this fall with 2,829 yards, 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 485 yards and nine touchdowns while leading the Irish to the national semifinals and breaking the school record for career wins by a QB.
Farrell’s take: Book was a high three-star pro-style quarterback out of high school who could also move around and he used those skills well at Notre Dame. He never had an elite arm, which kept his recruiting limited, but ND liked something about him and it paid off.
24. Jaelan Phillips, Miami
The skinny: Phillips committed to UCLA in the spring after his junior season over Stanford, Notre Dame, Washington and USC. After two non-eventful seasons with the Bruins, he transferred to Miami, where the former five-star didn’t disappoint in 2020 with 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and one interception.
Farrell’s take: Phillips was a five-star talent coming out of high school with amazing size and the ability to play standing up. In fact, he had to learn to play with his hand down. After medical retirement at UCLA, he exploded on the scene this year at Miami and is a possible first-rounder.
23. Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
The skinny: With no FBS offers on the table, Virginia Tech became the first to offer in November of his senior year. A few days later he made it official with a commitment to the Hokies. Darrisaw, who declared for the 2021 NFL Draft a couple of weeks ago, earned First-Team All-ACC and multiple All-American honors after his performance this fall.
Farrell’s take: Darrisaw was a lightly regarded tackle prospect who got his only FBS offer from the Hokies after his senior season. A pure late bloomer, he’s now emerged as one of the best tackles in college football.
22. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
The skinny: Owusu-Koramoah, who was initially committed to Virginia, re-opened his process and took January official visits to Notre Dame and Michigan State. After taking his last visit to South Bend, he committed to the Irish on National Signing Day.
Coming off an impressive 2019 season, Owusu-Koramoah continued to impress this fall with 62 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. He was recently announced the winner of this season’s Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.
Farrell’s take: Owusu-Koramoah was a high three-star linebacker out of Virginia who lacked great size and was more of an athlete than a linebacker at the time. He’s added great weight and he covers a ton of space while hitting like a truck.
21. Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
The skinny: Weaver was initially committed to Michigan, but after a couple of months he re-opened his process a couple of weeks before National Signing Day. He then took January official visits to Pittsburgh and Penn State before committing to the Panthers.
Over the last two seasons, Weaver has become one of the top playmaking defensive linemen in the nation. This fall, he totaled 34 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, earning several All-American honors.
Farrell’s take: Weaver was a big end who blew up late and began to get a ton of offers, but he never flashed the speed we liked. He flipped from Michigan to Pitt and it paid off for him and the Panthers as he’s become one of the nation's most active ends.